Category Archives: stories

Logic and Voting For Our Future, on Day 29/67

      My thoughts on  Day 29 of my 67 night-school class set of lesson plans for GED/HiSet learners, the middle of week 8/18, have been on applying mathematical proofs to the history of voting in the US (and on how reading transfers to other materials, like voters registration and ballot text…):
  similarity_proof_pythagoras27_theorem
History and applying that history logically to our present circumstances are also crucial in the voting process

register_to_vote_african_american_1960s_sign

   Voting in the upcoming midterms is crucial to our republic, and to our future.

Shira

*****************

Click here to read, if you like:

B5, Hakan: Muhafiz/Protector & Sihirli AnnemLupin, or La Casa de Papel/Money Heist Reviews

Holistic College Algebra & GED/High School Lesson Plans,

Thoughtful Readers, please consider reading about #ProjectDoBetter.

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS

Shira

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Reading Octavia Butler for Fun, and For Our Future, on Day 28/67

      My thoughts on  Day 28 of my 67 night-school class set of lesson plans for GED/HiSet learners, have been on what makes a choice or situation equitable, and on a fiction series that provokes interesting thoughts around that question.  So, reading even fiction, even just for fun, can also lead to learning, to questioning, and to a better future (not to mention that reading fluidity transfers to other materials, like voters registration and ballot text…):
As an aside, both Octavia Butler and Toni Morrison are writers whose works should receive far more attention…

Dawn (Xenogenesis, #1)Dawn by Octavia E. Butler

This book had me hooked from about the first five pages. The complex and well-drawn protagonist is very well matched with the ethical dilemmas presented and with the complexity of the ‘rescuers ‘ of Earth. Now I’m dying to get my hands on the next book in the series!

Update: I’m still tempted to give it five stars, which I only reserve for reference books and books that I feel the need to own, rather than check out from or donate to the public library system. This book has so haunted me since I finished reading it that I feel compelled to put aside my work and check out the next one from the library! 🙂 I note that I especially feel this way after having read Toni Morrison’s The Origin of Others and suddenly really seen how this protagonist being Black affects the rest of the story.

Reviewed in June, 12018 HE

Octavia Butler  butler_signing   has always given us much to chew on, but this series topped all of her question sets, for me.  The ethics of a choice imposed on a nearly dead planet by a species which is sacrificing many of its own members to save those of another, while claiming the right of the rescuer to do as they will, regardless of the desires of those being rescued.

   Voting in the upcoming midterms is crucial to our republic, and to our future.

Shira

*****************

Click here to read, if you like:

B5, Hakan: Muhafiz/Protector & Sihirli AnnemLupin, or La Casa de Papel/Money Heist Reviews

Holistic College Algebra & GED/High School Lesson Plans,

Thoughtful Readers, please consider reading about #ProjectDoBetter.

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS

Shira

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Time Passage, and Can Colors & Curves Help Sally Learn Greek?

 

                 How on earth can a Colored dressmaker, specifically our Sally, from 1838, hope to learn Greek?  You may remember her from my historical fantasy WiP whobyfireiwilltmpcover  Who By Fire

         Well, with a lot of hope, determination, and some help from her future, we can imagine some ways.  Starting with colors, and curves.

( Photo is from my Languages wall, removing a note, with explanation and a Janjo Fantoso video link, each week until all notes are done…)   time nouns in Greek  

                    Visual learners will notice right away the curving arrangement of the main 5 notes:  these were taped to my wall, spaced out a bit more, but still connected.  When you see the meanings of these words, you’ll also see why I’ve arranged them this way.  For me, this method helps me to learn the words much faster than other methods.  Note that they are also color coded.  I try to match up the colors of words to go with the tenses as I learn related sets of words.

      The curvature represents the passage of time, as these words go from past, to present, to future.

   I also try to put words into a sentence as soon as I can possibly gather enough words to do so.  This lets you use several different parts of your brain at once, making connections that help you retain and access the words later in a usable context.

    

                 I have a historical fiction with characters facing similar problems to that of our Sally, but in 1855, in my short story series,  tagged Ann&Anna.  I  hope that this series will move you to learn more ways to help use our history to build new tools.

 

I look forward to your thoughts.

Shira

     Dear Readers, do you have ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking at least for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport

Action Prompts:

    Share your thoughts on how to build buy-in create a more equal, or at least less inequitable, society, please.   Guest posts are always welcome.  Writing, by the way, is my personal contribution to Project Do Better

What would yours be, if you had time?

***************** 

Click here to read, if you like:

B5, Hakan:Muhafiz/The ProtectorLupin, or La Casa De Papel/Money Heist Reviews,

Holistic College Algebra & GED/HiSET Night School Lesson Plans,

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BsCs

Who By Fire: Meet the Hero -I.

This week, we re-introduce our hero, I. His name changes, so we leave the details of that change a mystery, for the moment:

Am I not a man?

Who by Fire: I Will is Book I of a historical fantasy trilogy.

Working Cover for historical fantasy WiP

Action Prompts in support of empathy and hope that you can take right now:

1.) Share two different reasons to write your own novel, or write your story, even if it’s not in novel form.

2.) Write a book, story, blog post, or tweet that uses a bit of that work.

Thoughtful Readers, have you any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?


*****************

Click here to read, if you like:

B5, Hakan:Muhafiz/The Protector,  Lupin, or La Casa de Papel (Money Heist) reviews

Holistic High School Lessons,

           or Long Range Nonfiction, or Historical Fiction

If you are on Twitter, please consider following   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.

Shira


Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Four Complementary Ways to Build Empathy on Day 9/67, with Diverse Learning Tools

Walking, study, and story, in themselves, are each powerful ways of learning, and can each be used to build empathy, while tying that learning all together so that it sticks. Walking facilitates thinking, or reflection, often generating both empathy, especially if walking with others, and new ideas for further study. Study can also build empathy, of course, if directed down the pathway of thinking of others. Story, it is well-known, has long been used as a teaching and empathy-building tool in many societies throughout human history.

Today is day 9 of my traditional 67 lesson plan set for teaching in Adult High School Equivalency diploma and GED preparation night school classrooms. This particular lesson is meant to cover, mostly, some starter questions about the salt trade, with the related mathematics, reading, grammar, and history, but… What if we put them all together, as part of our Learning Toolbox?

1.) One example of walking to learn is found on page 46 of my book Stayed on Freedom’s Call, via some of the walking Black-Jewish Cooperation DC history tours I created. That page, as part of the entire book, is freely available on The Internet Archive in various formats.

2.) A second example is my favorite lesson, Day 17, of my holistic GED set of lesson plans for a five month semester. For many students, it should be possible to complete preparation for the HiSET or GED in that time. These lesson plans tie together the mathematics related to the lesson of that day with a history reading, often also a science reading, grammar, and a writing assignment, all designed to connect to a central theme, often using a mind-map or a chart to generate and reinforce the new ideas in connection with already learned material. The use of realia (objects or activities used to relate classroom teaching to real life materials) and kinesthetic (movement or hands-on building related methods, like making models with string or clay…) methods is also encouraged to aide in problem solving and recall, across the set of lessons.

3.) Then, third, is learning through story. By reading historical fiction, many adults have expressed the fact that they can learn more about historical or even current topics, like slavery as it contributed to the modern trafficking problem. Stories that explore difficult topics have long held the power to teach, and to change hearts and minds, like my serial story Ann & Anna.

And, 4.) which I forgot initially, is language learning, as a fourth tool for empathy building.

Using methods like these three broad techniques, we can make learning easier, more effective, and fun. This is crucial to building a more empathetic society.

We can Do Better.

Shira

*****************

Click here to read, if you like:

Babylon 5Hakan:Muhafiz (The Protector)Lupin, & La Casa de Papel (Money Heist) Reviews…

Holistic High School Lessons,

           or My Long Term Nonfiction Writing and Historical Fiction prose

Thoughtful Readers, if you are on Twitter, please consider following   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.

 Shira Destinie Jones’ work  is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Who By Fire: Insanlar ile Sohbet Etmek: Lucy / Chat with the Characters: Lucy

Last week, we wondered why Lucy wished to learn Ottoman Turkish. She says:

I am given to understand, from our Jesuit masters, that The Turk is now master of The Holy Land. I know my place, as a slave. Yet and still, I hope one day to make pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and walk in the footsteps of our Lord. Thus, it seems prudent to learn the language of the masters of the land, does it not?

Our quiet Lucy is a woman of great faith. And great audacity.

Lucy, the -Protagonist’s Wife (J. Bell’s The Quadroon: Public Domain image from NYMet…)

Who by Fire: I Will is a historical fantasy novel cycle trilogy, I currently expect.

Working Cover for historical fantasy WiP

Action Prompts in support of empathy and hope that you can take right now:

1.) This novel is based in my research into my own family history. Share two different reasons to write your own novel, or to write your family‘s story, even if it’s not in novel form.

2.) Write a book, story, blog post, or tweet that uses a bit of that work.

Thoughtful Readers, have you any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?


*****************

Click here to read, if you like:

B5, Hakan:Muhafiz/The Protector,  Lupin, or La Casa de Papel (Money Heist) reviews

Holistic High School Lessons,

           or Long Range Nonfiction, or Historical Fiction

If you are on Twitter, please consider following   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.

Shira


Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Who By Fire: תכירו את הדמות :Hopkins / Meet the Characters: Hopkins

Our next meeting from my Work In Progress: Who By Fire: I Will -Book 1, is Hopkins :

  M. אני לומד את האלפבית העברי מחברי  

I am learning the Hebrew Alphabet from my friend M.

Our dear Hopkins is a man of very few words. 🙂

Hopkins is a Free Man of Color, eager to learn the language of the Bible, in 1838 Baltimore, and our hero’s particular friend.

I’d planned to start drafting in time to finish 100k words of a 1st draft as part of NaNoWriMo last year, but Do Better took precedence. I’m starting #WhoByFireIWill drafting again, still working out the various character voices.

I am currently outlining the scenes as a historical urban portal fantasy, sub-genre of either suspense or thriller.

I began writing this historical portal fantasy novel in June, 2020, when certain characters would not let me alone, and my ancestors seemed to demand that I write. I can add notes and questions as they arise here, if they will seem interesting to fellow writers, such as my question from 23 September, 12020: was there a public library in 1838 Baltimore, and could Jewish or Colored people use it? -Working in a way to reference a classic, like the 1001 Nights, which would have been known in 1838…

Lucy, the -Protagonist’s Wife (J. Bell’s The Quadroon: Public Domain image from NYMet…)

Who by Fire: I Will is a historical fantasy novel cycle trilogy, I currently expect.

Working Cover for historical fantasy WiP

Tagline:

  “Forever is a very long time.”

Logline:

To save his son, a desperate escaped slave must make a choice, but the price is eternally high.

The hero (aka the Protagonist) is an escaped slave, who dreams of buying his wife Lucy’s freedom and moving North with her and their son.

His particular friend is a Free Person of Color, one of the main characters, devoutly Christian, who teaches at night, and dreams of visiting Damascus as part of his Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, before he dies.

Progressive Jewish abolitionists befriended and struggled beside members of the Black community over the years in the United States, even during the period of chattel slavery.  M. is one such man standing with both Free People of Color, like our hero’s particular teaching friend, and with slaves.

As the work evolves, I may post articles from the point of view of different characters. Let me know if you, Dear Readers, would be interested in such posts, and I shall write them for you!

Action Items in support of empathy and hope that you can take right now:

1.) Share two different reasons to write your own novel, or write your Grandmother‘s story, even if it’s not in novel form.

2.) Share your thoughts on how you plan to get started on that writing work,  perhaps with the help of a book on how to write, or as an update on your GoodReads reading,

3.) Write a book, story, blog post, or tweet that uses a bit of that work.

Dear Readers, have you any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?


*****************

Click here to read, if you like:

B5, Hakan:Muhafiz/The Protector,  Lupin, or La Casa de Papel (Money Heist) reviews

Holistic High School Lessons,

           or Long Range Nonfiction, or Historical Fiction

If you are on Twitter, please consider following   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.

Shira


Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

French Fridays, and One Lesson from Lupin, Ch. 10 (P2e5) about Authority

 

                 Fun with Languages Friday  (mostly in English this week!): Lupin #10 !

  The lesson in this last episode:   The police are not always corrupt or incompetent.  No authorities are either bad nor good, but must be judged individually, based upon their actions, as should we all.

     Like Ganimard, in the original stories, Guédira is reasonably intelligent, reasonably competent, and a good man, who wants to do the right thing.   

       French Fridays with Lupin, Omar Sy style, presents the last episode of Part 2, and the incredible finale:

 
 
    La musique va parfaitment avec le drame !
    The concert is perfectly matched to the action!
Lupin10
 
   Et, en fin, les polices ne sont ni incompetents ni corrumpus !  Merci !!
   And, at last, police who are neither incompetent nor on the take!  Thank you!!
 
 
  Il a, en fin, fait tomber Pellegrini  !!    He has finally brought down Pellegrini!!
 
   Or at least, so it seems…

 

       
 
 

Chapter 9 aka Part 2, episode 4, was last week.

I look forward to Part 3 (if I have access to Netflix, still…) and to your thoughts.

Shira

Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how language learning may encourage empathy-building cooperation, and might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

2.) Write a book, story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

 

*****************

Click here to read, if you like:

Science Fiction/Fantasy Shows,  Lupin, or Money Heist

Holistic High School Lessons,

     Thoughtful Readers, if you are on Twitter, please consider following   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.

Shira

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Ann and Anna, (serial short story): Prequel Concluded

        Ann & Anna, Part  21 (River), posted last Sunday. apple_tree_flowers_and_rance_river_estuary  I have reluctantly decided that this will be the last part of our publicly published story.  I’ve been urged to finish this story as a novel, which cannot be queried if it has been published on a blog, so I must apologize, dear Readers.  I never imagined that the dream (nightmare) that started this story would lead to all of this, but now I would like to take it and develop it into a book.  I hope, once completed and published, that you will all read the remainder of this story.  While these past twenty one parts will make up the prequel to the story, I doubt that a publisher will allow them to be part of a novel, so I am closing this now, upon strong advice from several friends, to start working on the novel.  I plan to post an excerpt, each Sunday, to keep in touch with our dear Willow and Anna.

  And then…

whobyfireiwilltmpcover

Then, finally, I will get back to Who By Fire!

       This is the continuation scene in my historical fiction series  Ann&Anna.  I  hope that this series will move you to learn more ways to help use our history to build new tools.

  Parts 21 (River)Part 20 (Into The Night) ,   19 (Peculiar Gifts)18 (Mouth of Babes)17 (Testing)16 (Power)15 (Knowledge)14 (Words)13 (Interruptions)12 (Gifts)11 (Punishment),  10 (Warmth),   9 (Found)8 (Lost)7 (Rock)6 (Believe), 5 (Naming), 4 (Home), 3 (Trust), 2 (Hope), and 1 (Nightmares) have posted on previous Sundays.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Shira

Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how this story may encourage empathy-building cooperation, and might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.  It is my personal contribution to Project Do Better.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

***************** 

Click here to read, if you like:

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

   Comment: You can see how her C-PTSD is healing, in the love of this chosen/found family…

Ann and Anna, (serial short story, Part 21): River

        Part  20 (Into The Night), was last Sunday…

       Our ride in the carriage, that night, seated back to back as Anna and I were, was at least sure against the winter chill.  I’d laid an extra blanket over little Tilly, then snuggled back up against Anna.  At some point during our ride, she had turned to cradle me in her arms as we slept.  I awoke nuzzling the inside of her neck, and rose with a start, as I saw our Tilly observing me.  My cheeks began to burn as I wondered how long she might have been awake.

 

“It’s ok, Miss Willow.  Your servant Joe Wright is here to keep us safe, Missus.”

 

I was so relieved, I hardly knew what to say.  “Oh, Tilly, you don’t need to play our game here.  We are alone.”

 

She shook her head most insistently:  “Joe told me that we are never to end this game, Miss Willow, until we are free up North.  All the way north.”  She looked at the window, covered against the cold, and against prying eyes, and inched closer, whispering, “we never know what ears may be up against this door.”

 

“That is right.”  How long had Anna been awake?  I’d not felt her move a muscle, but she was surely listening.  How did she do that?  Just then, I recalled the question which had been burning within me as we went to sleep.

 

“Miss, sorry, Joe, you said something last night about seeing Old Mary soon.  What on this Good Lord’s earth were you talking about, pray tell?”

 

Anna flashed her most devilish grin.  It was the one that promised shocking things to come.

 

“What say both of you,” she had managed to lower her voice another octave, to sound like a young boy, if not a man, “to a spot of breakfast, before I answer that question?”

 

“I am starving!”

 

I was amazed at how quietly this child could shout.

 

“Tilly,” I teased in my finest soprano whisper, which is not an easy thing to do, “you are always starving, HoneyChild!”

 

We all fell to giggling as quietly as we had whispered, as we shared out the cornbread Mrs. H. had given us to breakfast upon.  Even cold, that aroma was enticing.  It had been all she’d had to hand, so we knew we must make do on that one meal for most of this day.

 

When we had each had three chews and a swallow of our meal, I looked up again at Anna, my head tilted insistently at her, as I waited for my reply.

 

She finally rewarded me:  “Do you remember the white men who met us where we stopped with the wagon?”

 

I nodded.

 

“They were expecting to see four of us, of course.”

Of course.  I still recalled the despair of that parting.

 

“Old Mary was meant to carry you and Little Sally, while Captain here,” she lifted her head up toward the front of the carriage, “is sturdy enough for both Miss Mary and myself.  Since it was just you, they almost took Old Mary back with them, but I told them that two horses were better than one.  That is why she is here again, tied up back as the spare.“

 

Old Mary was here!  It was a pity that I had no apples or carrots for her.  That thought brought to mind the memory of my Miss Mary, for some odd reason, singing one of our favorite songs.  I wished I could go now, down to some peaceful river, thinking about a good way, a better way than this world’s way, to pray.

 

There came a knock at the carriage door, and I realized that we had not been moving for some moments.  I wondered how I had managed not to notice.  All was silent.  Another knock came, this time in three sharp raps, followed by two light knocks.  Anna nodded, and Little Tilly cracked the door open just enough to see the pair of blue eyes looking back at us, and opened it wide enough for the doctor see in.

 

“Joe, it is here that I must leave you all.  I bid you god speed.”

 

 

I saw the barest lift of his hat just as the doctor stepped back out of view, allowing our Joe to exit the carriage.  The door had clicked shut, and we’d started up again with nary a sound.  Now, we were on our own, and our safety depended upon me.

 

I decided that this was a good time to pray.

       This is the continuation scene in my historical fiction series  Ann&Anna.  I  hope that this series will move you to learn more ways to help use our history to build new tools.

  Parts   20 (Into The Night)19 (Peculiar Gifts)18 (Mouth of Babes)17 (Testing)16 (Power)15 (Knowledge)14 (Words)13 (Interruptions)12 (Gifts)11 (Punishment),  10 (Warmth),   9 (Found)8 (Lost)7 (Rock)6 (Believe), 5 (Naming), 4 (Home), 3 (Trust), 2 (Hope), and 1 (Nightmares) have posted on previous Sundays.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Shira

Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how this story may encourage empathy-building cooperation, and might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.  It is my personal contribution to Project Do Better.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

***************** 

Click here to read, if you like:

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

   Comment: You can see how her C-PTSD is healing, in the love of this chosen/found family…